Mortgage and refinance rates today, Aug. 23, 2022

Peter Warden
Peter Warden
The Mortgage Reports Editor
August 23, 2022 - 7 min read

Today’s mortgage and refinance rates

Average mortgage rates rose appreciably yesterday. That makes three big rises, one small one and a holding steady over the last five-business-day week. And, unsurprisingly, they’re at their highest level in more than a month.

Once again, earlier this morning mortgage rates today looked likely to rise. But that might change as the day progresses.

Current mortgage and refinance rates

Program Mortgage Rate APR* Change
Conventional 30 year fixed
Conventional 30 year fixed 5.819% 5.849% -0.08%
Conventional 15 year fixed
Conventional 15 year fixed 5.372% 5.429% +0.17%
Conventional 20 year fixed
Conventional 20 year fixed 5.939% 5.984% -0.01%
Conventional 10 year fixed
Conventional 10 year fixed 5.253% 5.343% +0.08%
30 year fixed FHA
30 year fixed FHA 5.558% 6.318% +0.02%
15 year fixed FHA
15 year fixed FHA 5.53% 6.027% +0.13%
30 year fixed VA
30 year fixed VA 5.316% 5.537% +0.1%
15 year fixed VA
15 year fixed VA 5.404% 5.767% Unchanged
Rates are provided by our partner network, and may not reflect the market. Your rate might be different. Click here for a personalized rate quote. See our rate assumptions here.

Should you lock a mortgage rate today?

Don't lock on a day when mortgage rates look set to fall. My recommendations (below) are intended to give longer-term suggestions about the overall direction of those rates. So, they don’t change daily to reflect fleeting sentiments in volatile markets.

Whatever happens over inflation and fears of a recession, it’s hard to imagine mortgage rates falling far or for long as long as the Federal Reserve is hiking its rates. And it’s looking likely those Fed rises will continue until the end of this year and probably into 2023.

So, my personal rate lock recommendations are:

  • LOCK if closing in 7 days
  • LOCK if closing in 15 days
  • LOCK if closing in 30 days
  • LOCK if closing in 45 days
  • LOCK if closing in 60 days

>Related: 7 Tips to get the best refinance rate

Market data affecting today’s mortgage rates

Here’s a snapshot of the state of play this morning at about 9:50 a.m. (ET). The data, compared with roughly the same time yesterday, were:

  • The yield on 10-year Treasury notes rose to 3.04% from 2.99%. (Bad for mortgage rates.) More than any other market, mortgage rates normally tend to follow these particular Treasury bond yields
  • Major stock indexes were mixed soon after opening. (Neutral for mortgage rates.) When investors are buying shares, they’re often selling bonds, which pushes prices of those down and increases yields and mortgage rates. The opposite may happen when indexes are lower. But this is an imperfect relationship
  • Oil prices shot higher to $93.05 from $87.55 a barrel. (Bad for mortgage rates*.) Energy prices play a prominent role in creating inflation and also point to future economic activity
  • Gold prices edged up to $1,753 from $1,749 an ounce. (Neutral for mortgage rates*.) It is generally better for rates when gold rises and worse when gold falls. Gold tends to rise when investors worry about the economy. And worried investors tend to push rates lower
  • CNN Business Fear & Greed index — held steady at 47 out of 100. (Neutral for mortgage rates.) “Greedy” investors push bond prices down (and interest rates up) as they leave the bond market and move into stocks, while “fearful” investors do the opposite. So lower readings are better than higher ones

*A movement of less than $20 on gold prices or 40 cents on oil ones is a change of 1% or less. So we only count meaningful differences as good or bad for mortgage rates.

Caveats about markets and rates

Before the pandemic and the Federal Reserve’s interventions in the mortgage market, you could look at the above figures and make a pretty good guess about what would happen to mortgage rates that day. But that’s no longer the case. We still make daily calls. And are usually right. But our record for accuracy won’t achieve its former high levels until things settle down.

So use markets only as a rough guide. Because they have to be exceptionally strong or weak to rely on them. But, with that caveat, mortgage rates today look likely to rise. However, be aware that “intraday swings” (when rates change direction during the day) are a common feature right now.

Important notes on today’s mortgage rates

Here are some things you need to know:

  1. Typically, mortgage rates go up when the economy’s doing well and down when it’s in trouble. But there are exceptions. Read ‘How mortgage rates are determined and why you should care
  2. Only “top-tier” borrowers (with stellar credit scores, big down payments and very healthy finances) get the ultralow mortgage rates you’ll see advertised
  3. Lenders vary. Yours may or may not follow the crowd when it comes to daily rate movements — though they all usually follow the broader trend over time
  4. When daily rate changes are small, some lenders will adjust closing costs and leave their rate cards the same
  5. Refinance rates are typically close to those for purchases.

A lot is going on at the moment. And nobody can claim to know with certainty what will happen to mortgage rates in the coming hours, days, weeks or months.

Are mortgage and refinance rates rising or falling?

Today’s the day I must admit it’s perfectly possible that my analysis of where mortgage rates are heading is wrong. I hope readers always keep that unchanging fact in the backs of their minds.

I still think it’s more likely that I’m right, though I hope not because that would mean those rates rising further. But I would say that, wouldn’t I? Certainly, others disagree.

Rate forecasts

Fannie Mae’s economists published their latest mortgage rate forecasts yesterday (see below). And they expect those rates to fall over each of the next (including this one) four quarters: from 5.1% in the current quarter to 4.5% in the second quarter of 2023.

Even those economists would probably concede that their record for accurately forecasting these rates has been pretty dire for a long time. In their December 2021 forecast, they thought mortgage rates in the current quarter would average 3.3%. But these are serious professionals. So, you can’t just write off their views.

And, back then, even I — pessimist that I am — wasn’t expecting mortgage rates today to be as high as they are. Still, their expectations are the polar opposite of mine.

Analysis

Also yesterday, Mortgage News Daily’s Matthew Graham wrote:

Rather than view the recent rate spike as the product of one or two individual events, it’s better thought of as a general correction to the overly-aggressive drop in July. In other words, rates are finding their range somewhere below the highest levels of the year and the recent lows.

Mr. Graham is a highly respected guru when it comes to the market that largely determines mortgage rates. And I wouldn’t dare contradict him over the ways in which that works.

But there definitely are economic pressures that caused July’s falls and August’s rises. Indeed, Mr. Graham has written about them, so I doubt he’s saying they don’t exist.

What we’ve been seeing is an epic tussle in investors’ minds between their fear of inflation and their fear of recession. When inflation seems scarier, mortgage rates tend to move down. And, when markets are freaked out about inflation, mortgage rates tend to move up. There may be other highly technical things going on in the mortgage bond market, but, in my view, those competing fears are currently the main drivers of change.

The Fed

Underlying those are future Federal Reserve rate hikes. The Fed also worries about inflation and recession. But it’s made clear that its current focus is inflation. And it’s going to carry on raising interest rates generally until at least the end of the year. Personally, I struggle to envision sustained falls in mortgage rates of the sort Fannie expects while those hikes continue.

Watch out for Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s speech on Friday at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium. He may clarify the central bank’s policy. But I’m not expecting the screeching U-turn that backing down on rate hikes would involve.

Read the weekend edition of this daily article for more background.

Over much of 2020, the overall trend for mortgage rates was clearly downward. And a new, weekly all-time low was set on 16 occasions that year, according to Freddie Mac.

The most recent weekly record low occurred on Jan. 7, 2021, when it stood at 2.65% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

Rates then bumbled along, moving little for the following eight or nine months. But they began rising noticeably that September. Unfortunately, they’ve been mostly shooting up since the start of 2022, although they’ve been kinder since May.

Freddie’s Aug. 18 report puts that same weekly average for conventional, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages at 5.13% (with 0.8 fees and points), up from the previous week’s 5.22%. But that won’t include that Wednesday’s big rise.

Note that Freddie expects you to buy discount points (“with 0.8 fees and points”) on closing that earn you a lower rate. If you don’t do that, your rate would be closer to the ones we and others quote.

Expert mortgage rate forecasts — Updated today

Looking further ahead, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) each has a team of economists dedicated to monitoring and forecasting what will happen to the economy, the housing sector and mortgage rates.

And here are their current rate forecasts for the remaining two quarters of 2022 (Q3/22, Q4/22) and the first two quarters of next year (Q1/23, Q2/23).

The numbers in the table below are for 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. Fannie’s forecast appeared on Aug. 22 and the others around Jul. 21.

ForecasterQ3/22Q4/22Q1/23Q2/23
Fannie Mae5.1%4.8% 4.7%4.5%
Freddie Mac5.5%5.4% 5.2%5.2%
MBA5.2%5.2% 5.0%5.0%

Of course, given so many unknowables, the whole current crop of forecasts might be even more speculative than usual. And their past record for accuracy hasn’t been wildly impressive.

Find your lowest rate today

You should comparison shop widely, no matter what sort of mortgage you want. As federal regulator the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says:

“Shopping around for your mortgage has the potential to lead to real savings. It may not sound like much, but saving even a quarter of a point in interest on your mortgage saves you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.”

Mortgage rate methodology

The Mortgage Reports receives rates based on selected criteria from multiple lending partners each day. We arrive at an average rate and APR for each loan type to display in our chart. Because we average an array of rates, it gives you a better idea of what you might find in the marketplace. Furthermore, we average rates for the same loan types. For example, FHA fixed with FHA fixed. The end result is a good snapshot of daily rates and how they change over time.